NEW DELHI : The National Medical Commission (NMC) says that the white coats worn by doctors should be made of home-spun cotton, khadi. India’s top medical education regulator has also asked all doctors, medical colleges and hospitals to use more khadi products.
The idea is to promote Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) products specially designed and manufactured for healthcare professionals. These include sheets, pillowcases, aprons, curtains, patient gowns, soap, hand soap and floor cleaning products. Khadi, promoted by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle, is considered a uniquely Indian product.
“Khadi has been a priority area of the central government. Due to this overall production of khadi and village industries, it has reached an all-time high. In 2021-2022, KVIC’s annual revenue was more than ₹1.15 trillion, which is unprecedented in the history of India as none of the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies have achieved this target so far,” an official close to the government said. file on condition of anonymity.
“About a month ago, Home Minister Amit Shah wrote to the Minister of Health asking him to promote the consumption of khadi products in the health sector. Khadi products are safe and environmentally friendly. The use of Khadi products in the medical sector in India will not only increase its growth but help create jobs for small rural artisans in the villages,” the official said.
“Over the past few years, a few hospitals in Delhi have purchased Khadi products for their use. In FY20-21, Khadi products were worth approx. ₹70.03 lakhs were procured in FY21-22, hospitals used Khadi items worth about ₹86.63 lakh. This consumption of Khadi products in the healthcare sector is quite low when compared with the large number of medical institutions across the country,” the official quoted above said.
“He (KVIC) has now scientifically proven that khadi products are not only beneficial to health, but also environmentally friendly. As doctors are required to wear a coat during duty hours, therefore, they are advised to use a white Khadi coat,” said Dr. Aruna V. Vanikar, Chairman of Council for Higher Medical Education of the National Medical Commission to the faculties of medicine in a letter.
Emailed questions to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and the CEO of KVIC went unanswered as of press time.